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Is early retirement unhealthy?
Old 11-19-2005, 02:00 PM   #1
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Is early retirement unhealthy?

According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, retiring early (at 55 vs 60+) results in earlier death....

http://seniorhealth.about.com/b/a/212586.htm
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?
Old 11-19-2005, 02:08 PM   #2
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by omni550
According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, retiring early (at 55 vs 60+) results in earlier death....

http://seniorhealth.about.com/b/a/212586.htm
That's one risk I will be happy to take. For some of us, an additional 5 years of work isn't necessarily considered 5 years of "living". :P

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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?
Old 11-19-2005, 02:37 PM   #3
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?

I agree with the article in that a meaning and purpose to life is important to ones health, but I don't think you have to have a full time job to accomplish this. Hobbies, volunteer work, travel are just a few things I plan to do to keep me busy and active. Coach potato = poor health. That pretty well sums it up.* *
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?
Old 11-19-2005, 03:10 PM   #4
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by omni550
According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, retiring early (at 55 vs 60+) results in earlier death....

http://seniorhealth.about.com/b/a/212586.htm
The hours you spend on playing golf, and fly-fishing, are added to your allotted time on earth.
"The gospel", according to some old phart that I totally agree with.
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?
Old 11-19-2005, 03:51 PM   #5
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by omni550
According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, retiring early (at 55 vs 60+) results in earlier death....

http://seniorhealth.about.com/b/a/212586.htm
Well, just to be safe, I waited till 60.
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?
Old 11-19-2005, 07:28 PM   #6
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?

The trouble with these surveys that show retiring early leads to a shorter life, is the following:

The study could not assess directly the issue of whether employees who retired at a younger age were in poorer health than those who retired later as data were not available to identify the type of retirement for each employee (for example, retirement due to disability compared with normal retirement).

That comment is in the highlights of this British study of USA Shell Oil employees. AFAIAC, that renders the results totally useless.

For many large companies, age 55 is the earliest you can retire. As such, there is a group of people who are not in the best of health waiting for age 55 to retire, especially with paid retirement medical. I have seen people with difficulties head out the door at age 55. They were not classified as "disabled". They showed up for work most days. But they had problems, and missing days/weeks over a year was common.

If someone was tracking them, their age 55 retirement would have occurred from normal working employee status.

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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?
Old 11-19-2005, 07:47 PM   #7
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?

Re working longer:

You don't really live longer, it just seems longer!* *
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?
Old 11-20-2005, 12:05 AM   #8
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?

If I did a study about people who work until age 90 vs those who work until age 65, I bet I would find the people who worked to age 90 lived longer. Do you get it?
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?
Old 11-20-2005, 12:26 AM   #9
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?

The early death depends on the reason for retirement.

Many are forced to retire, and it is these that have nothing to do, and begin the spiral down
towards death.

Those that have a plan and a reason to retire live a lot longer in general, and I don't think
you'll harm yourself in any way if you free yourself from the workplace, with all its corporate
politics.
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?
Old 11-20-2005, 01:16 AM   #10
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?

I want to say close to half nationally retire due to health related reasons. Or at least 40%. If they didnt take that into account, then of course those that retired early lived, on average, a less longer life. Like DUH!
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?
Old 11-20-2005, 02:25 AM   #11
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?

Undoubtedly we have at least two factors that the posters have enlightened, then a couple of words of my own experience.

First the life expectancy curve is skewed. When you're male and 55 you have say a 20 years life expectancy. But being 90 and still alive does not offer you a negative life expectancy of minus 15 years ! you then have kind of 5 years at that stage ! So, would everyone decide to retire @ 90 one should conclude that late retirement is a key factor to a long life (others who died before should have worked longer to get the benefits of late retirement) ! Reasoning is completely twisted.

Second factor has been underlined, those with health problems taking early retirement. The early retirement is not the cause of their health problems. They had first health problems leading to shorter life expectancies.

My personal experience: my last years at work were a pain, did not sleep well, belly ache etc. I can tell you I FEEL MUCH BETTER NOW ! I'm not sure I'll live longer (or the opposite) but 'I'll live much BETTER !

Patrice.
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?
Old 11-20-2005, 07:36 AM   #12
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?

Whether you continue to work or not after 55 is not really the issue. I retired at 55 because I wanted to enjoy my life more. Work was very stressful. Thankfully I was able to leave in good health. I am now doing things to protect my health that I didn't have time to do while working. The most important thing is how you live your life. How you feel about work. And what makes you happy. Work was killing me....

I am cooking more, and I cook healthy meals for my husband and I. I am exercising much more.

My husband and I both exercise much more than the zero exercise that we got while slaves to an alarm clock, and morning rush hour. My blood pressure is in the low range now and my energy level is thru the roof. While working, raising kids, and taking care of a house, I told myself there was never time to exercise and eat right.

On the other hand I attended at least 6 retirement parties in the last few years for people forced to retire due to major illness. None of those individuals are still with us. Some never made it to 55. I am sure that if given the chance to do things over they wouldn't have waited until their health was gone to enjoy a few years of happy retirement.

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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?
Old 11-20-2005, 08:22 AM   #13
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?

Retirement can be unhealthy, if you retire and sit on your a**, watch a lot of daytime tv, disengage from exercise, both mental and physical, with the highlight of your day being the meals.

OTOH, if you find interest(s), projects, learn new stuff, travel, exercise, volunteer, engage with lots of other people, and turn the damn tv off, it's probably a lot healthier than the artificial stress of job deadlines and meaningless job goals. Afterall, Monday morning used to be the day at MegaCorp, about 9 a.m., when you would see the medics taking the heart attack victim to the ambulance.
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?
Old 11-20-2005, 09:18 AM   #14
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle43
Retirement can be unhealthy, if you retire and sit on your a**, watch a lot of daytime tv, disengage from exercise, both mental and physical, with the highlight of your day being the meals
Eagle43: I'm playing the 2nd. leg of a two day golf tournament this a.m.
After the tournament, I am planning on having a couple of beers, watch about 6 hours of daytime tv, (NFL teams that I have wagers on).
Depending on outcome of above, the meal may be the highlight of the day.
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?
Old 11-20-2005, 09:28 AM   #15
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?

One of the main reasons I quit was CONCERN that waiting would
result in health problems that would damage (eliminate?)
my ability to enjoy life and ER. When the ER idea hit me (1992)
I had no obvious health issues. Alas, it is now a very long list.
I am sorry that my worries came to fruition, but at least I took the
leap as quickly as I could.

JG
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?
Old 11-20-2005, 09:54 AM   #16
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?

Exactly. My father was forced to retire due to illness, and survived 18 months of retirement ( note, I did not say ENJOYED). The pressures of work were making me feel sick so RE is an opportunity to change lifestyle and, hopefully, enjoy a few years. Can't beat the genes but can influence some of the timing.
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?
Old 11-20-2005, 11:40 AM   #17
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?

There was a similar study referenced on John Greaney's web site for Boeing retirees that came to approximately the same conclusion that early retirement was unhealthy. The rebuttal was the same: most people retire early due to serious health problems. Funny how this is never brought up in the studies.

It seems to me that the companies who commission these studies have a vested interest in closing one eye to the results. Still, they basically count only the salarymen and wage slaves. JG would never even be included in the survey, not would those who get laid off and decide to never come back.

I am working now, but I was in better general health when I was unemployed. I got a lot more exercise then, ate better food (I am on the road these days) and drank a lot less.

I know of several cases where people's health improved in retirement. The cases that I remember where retirees were unhappy or whose health deteriorated were people who had not planned psycholgically or financially for retirement or had too much of their self-worth tied up in their job.

Wandering from the original topic, I am thinking heretical thoughts today, arising from thoughts of mortality brought on by UM's loss. (Deepest condolences, UncleMick.) Intercst is critical of h*c*s for irrationally leaving a well-paying job before prepared financially for retirement. Today, I am wondering about doing approximately the same thing (the difference being that I am rational about the numbers).

Please see this excerpt from Scott Burns' Nov 6 column, "The Future of Old":
Quote:
I am telling you this because I will be 65 this week, an event that gives me a brief license to offer the great lessons and discoveries that attend decrepitude. Here are some:

# Work (1). I don't understand why most people are retired at this age. They can't all be golfers. I can afford to retire, but I still think work is fun and full of challenges. I don't expect the challenges to go away. I don't expect the fun to go away, either.
(How did this get in here?) I am glad for you, Scott.

Quote:
# Work (2). Men need to pay more attention to women. They're a lot more adaptable than we are. My wife retired this year, kind of, and she is as happy as I've ever seen her. She works for good causes and is useful. But the money meter is no longer running. The weaker sex (men, if there was any doubt) would probably live longer if we could only see life as a cooperative festival rather than a competitive struggle.

# Work, Play and Opportunity Cost. The greatest dilemma of continuing to work is fairly subtle, something you don't think about at 30. Every hour spent working is an hour lost to play. It is an hour from a cupboard that's looking a little bare. At 65, all your major warranties are void. This week a friend is recovering from heart surgery. Three other friens are recovering from prostate cancer treatment. As Gilda Radner said, "It's always something."
Does everyone remember that Gilda Radner died young of uterine cancer?

Quote:
# Money. In the big picture, it is less important, not more important. Some will criticize this statement, noting that it's easy to say money isn't important when you have plenty of it. But one of the true blessings of being older is that objects don't mean much. Friends do. Objects cost money. Friendship is free. It comes from the unlimited currency of the heart.
Thinking about moving the finish line a little closer,

Ed
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?
Old 11-20-2005, 11:56 AM   #18
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-Jarhead
Eagle43:* I'm playing the 2nd. leg of a two day golf tournament this a.m.
After the tournament, I am planning on having a couple of beers, watch about 6 hours of daytime tv, (NFL teams that I have wagers on).
Depending on outcome of above, the meal may be the highlight of the day.
Well, you can't die early, so rock on!!
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?
Old 11-20-2005, 12:08 PM   #19
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?

I am looking forward to becoming healthier in retirement than I am now. More time to exercise and cook healthier food. It will also benefit Dh, even though he's retired he still eats out too much and doesn't get enough exercise, he's always happy to see me go back to work on Mondays so he can rest.

But I would say half of the people I know that retired early was because of health issues.
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?
Old 11-20-2005, 12:38 PM   #20
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Re: Is early retirement unhealthy?

I think the vast majority of people don't consider the possibility of RE just for fun. Or else they find themselves backed into a corner financially.

"Trapped by no traps but ours for they hang suspended."

Only a small group thinks outside the box, but it is getting bigger.

Ed,
Still boxed in.
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